7 Reasons Why Trademarks Protect You
If you are in business, and are successful and profitable, your business name should be registered.
It prevents others from using it to do the same type of business, represent their businesses as yours, steal your customers and ruin your business reputation. Without it, you have a big liability, almost as if you are leaving the door to the shop open when you leave at the end of the day.
Registration also offers you other rights. The United States Patent and Trademark Office website lists seven specific ways trademarks protect your business.
1. Public Notice of Your Claim of Ownership of the Mark
When you apply for a ownership of your business name and are approved, it is published in the Official Gazette. This weekly online publication gives the public 30 days to examine and oppose your registration. If there is no opposition, the patent office generally issues registration certificates about 12 weeks after publication.
2. A Legal Presumption of Your Ownership of the Mark
Registering with the USPTO creates a legal presumption of your ownership of the mark. Plus it gives you the exclusive right to use the mark nationwide (and in connection with the goods or services listed in the registration). It is part of your business identity. And if others use your business name, they are in violation of federal law. It also allows you to use the encircled symbol ®, which may only be used after registration.
3. The Ability to Bring an Action Concerning the Mark in Federal Court
With registration you may bring legal action in federal court against anyone using your business name.
4. The Use of the U.S. Registration as a Basis to Obtain Registration in Foreign Countries
Registered business name or symbol holders may register their marks in foreign countries to give further protections against infringement and piracy.
5. The Ability to Record the U.S. Registration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service to Prevent Importation of Infringing Foreign Goods
Registered marks can be recorded with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service for further protection from infringement. This lists your registration in customs’ computers to check imported goods.
6. Listing in the USPTO’s Online Databases
Registering puts your business mark into the USPTO’s online databases. When others consider your business name and search to see if someone holds it, your registration comes up letting them know you own it.
7. Registering is the Only Way to Protect the Name of Your Products or Services
The process of registering your business name or business identity with the USPTO is the only way to really protect the name of your products or services. It saves you money by affording legal protections in the event of infringement or fraud. The USPTO process is designed to protect businesses in commerce and prevent confusion and fraud in the marketplace.
While there is no legal requirement to federally register with the USPTO, doing so makes it easier to prove your ownership and stop anyone from stealing your business identity.